In September 8, 2014, the Mountain View City Council held a hearing where citizens could talk about their views on a proposed draft ordinance to adopt a city minimum wage of $10.15 per hour and to include an annual adjustment for inflation. The proposed draft is modeled after San Jose’s minimum wage ordinance and the rate will adjust by an amount corresponding to the prior year’s Consumer Price Index. I went to the meeting to talk to other activists and to listen to what the citizens had to say for the City Council panel.
Most of the people who spoke were residents of Mountain View, although there was one person who represented WalMart workers who wanted to show his support for what these people are doing. I learned a lot from listening to them. That’s one of the reasons I attend these events. The speakers thanked the council for giving citizens a forum to speak their views. They told their own stories about their struggles paying the rent and buying the basic necessities on a minimum wage salary in Mountain View.
The activists who supported an increase in the minimum wage were prepared with information to try to convince the City Council. They had done a poll of Mountain View business owners and found that over 70% of the business owners favored an increase in the minimum wage. They cited the fact that when nearby city San Jose increased its minimum wage, business actually increased in the city. They seemed well prepared to answer any worries that anyone may have about possible consequences of raising the minimum wage.
Since the Congress seems to be in gridlock, many activists have turned to state and city governments to try to get action on issues like raising the minimum wage, climate change, immigrant rights and other issues. I think they’re doing a smart thing. While I was there I met some friends whom I hadn’t seen in a few years. I had a good time talking to them and catching up on our lives.
Here are some photos I took of the meeting.